making love out of nothing at all

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superann

Member
Mandarin and Taiwan
One of Air Supply's classic songs is Making Love out of Nothing at All

What does it mean?
Do people really say that?
When do people use it?

Thank you.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    superann said:
    One of Air Supply's classic songs is Making Love out of Nothing at All

    What does it mean? No idea, but I'll guess in a minute.
    Do people really say that? I think not.
    When do people use it? See previous answer.

    Thank you.
    I'm guessing from a position of sublime ignorance - I know nothing of Air Supply or this song - but I found the lyrics HERE.

    I am sure I don't need to explain what Making Love usually means, so I won't. But I suggest that in this particular context it actually means something more like "conjuring up the sense that you are in love".

    The important point about the phrase is that "making" in many other contexts requires some materials out of which to "make" whatever it is.

    So, the "out of nothing at all" means something like "without any real basis in what I have said or what I have done".

    So, the old cynic suggests that this song title actually means:
    Creating the delusion of an emotional attachment in the absence of any behavioural foundation.

    You can see why Air Supply's version of the song is more popular than mine:D
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Panj, you're a stitch!
    I personally think it's just to make it rhyme with, "I'll never let you fall". It has no meaning that makes sense in my book.

    P.S. I definitely prefer your version Panj. :D
     

    superann

    Member
    Mandarin and Taiwan
    I really appreciate your responses.

    Does you also suggest that lyrics sometimes contains no meaning and the interpretations vary from person to person.

    I discovery that I couldn't fully understand most of the lyrics in English songs. Of course, most of time it is due to deficiency of culture knowledge.
     

    Metztli

    Senior Member
    Mexico Spanish / English
    Hi!

    Superann, if you were not a native Spanish speakers and you listen to some Joaquin Sabina songs, for example, they won't make sense to you, either.

    There are methapores like "making love out of nothing at all". Panjandrum is right, in that song, what the guy means is that the girl (I assume it's a girl) creates... or tries to create love without any basis of true feelings or emotions.

    Try to imagine a native English-speaker listening to this:

    "de pronto me ví, como un perro de nadie ladrando a las puertas del cielo"... se iba a quedar con cara de What??? no es cierto? Asi pasa con las metáforas y las poesias.

    :)
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    "Making love out of nothing at all" means you can make love without having sex. To think of you, to anticipate your needs. Just to look at you is to make love to you.
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    I don't know. That song is one of my favorite absolutely cheeseball songs of all times (it heads up a mix called Cheez Whiz on my Ipod), and I've more than once tried understand the phrase in question (usually after at least one bottle of wine). I don't think any of the explanations given necessarily fit with the rest of the lyrics.

    She's not "creating love without any basis" because the singer does love her:
    But I’m never gonna make it without you
    Do you really wanna see me crawl ?
    To say nothing of :
    The beating of my heart is a drum and it’s lost
    And it’s looking for a rhythm like you
    And there's no suggestion in the song that

    you can make love without havingsex
    ...

    although that certainly can be the case.

    So, I've been forced to conclude it doesn't make very much sense, but you all are welcome at my house any time for a cheesy 80s lyric study group (next week's assignment: Total Eclipse of the Heart). BYOB.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    And every star in the sky is taking aim at your eyes like a spotlight
    The beating of my heart is a drum and it’s lost and it’s looking for a rhythm like you. . .

    I gotta follow it ‘cause everything I know
    Well, it’s nothing ‘till I give it to you

    (As far as the singer is concerned, this guy is making love to her without doing anything at all.)
     

    Metztli

    Senior Member
    Mexico Spanish / English
    river said:
    "Making love out of nothing at all" means you can make love without having sex. To think of you, to anticipate your needs. Just to look at you is to make love to you.
    Wow! River... that explanation/interpretation is beautiful and romantic.

    However, in that song... i don't believe that's what he meant.

    I understand he loves her madly... but she's not that much into it (Do you really wanna see me crawl?) Obviously she's great with him, though... (You can take the darkness from the deep of the night
    And turn it to a beacon burning endlessly bright
    )
    But he feels there's something missing... (The beating of my heart is a drum and it’s lost /And it’s looking for a rhythm like you)
    Then:
    (And I’m never gonna make it like you do...Making love out of nothing at all)

    Do you see my point? No that I don't like your version, but... this is what I've understood all the time.

    Anyway... one of my favorite 80's song, too.
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    (As far as the singer is concerned, this guy is making love to her without doing anything at all
    But it's the girl (or anyway the love object, I don't want to be unduly heteronormative here) who is making love out of nothing at all. And the singer is "never gonna make it like you do, making love out of nothing at all."

    (I bet all my Comp Lit professors are extremely proud of the great ends to which I've put the close reading skills they taught me.)
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    ElaineG said:
    But it's the girl (or anyway the love object, I don't want to be unduly heteronormative here) who is making love out of nothing at all. And the singer is "never gonna make it like you do, making love out of nothing at all."

    (I bet all my Comp Lit professors are extremely proud of the great ends to which I've put the close reading skills they taught me.)
    Not so fast, Lainey, the grades aren't in yet.

    She is singing to him:

    I don't know how you do it
    making love out of nother at all
    Making love
    Mod note: WR rules limit lyric quotes to 4 lines, even if the lines are short
    out of nothing at all.
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    So, you're saying that the "I" persona switches back and forth during the song?

    That one "person" sings:

    I can make the runner stumble
    I can make the final block
    And that then the love object sings back (both done in the same (male) voice in the song) ?:

    And I’m never gonna make it like you do
    Making love out of nothing at all
    Or are you saying that the whole thing is sung from a single (female) perspective? (Despite the rather heavy-handed football/anthem rock singer imagery quoted above?).
     

    James Stephens

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    We've had a breakup. I need something from you, a nod, a gesture -- anything. Do you really want to see me crawl? My love for you is based on all the beautiful things you are and do. Those are my raw materials for making love. You, on the other hand, are stuck with my worthless self. You have no raw materials. You can make love out of nothing at all = me and my attributes. Well, right now, I need something from you that you wouldn't need from me. I need a word, a gesture, some forgiveness. If I don't get it I'll die. Be merciful. Keep making love out of nothing at all, because I can't. If you leave me, I'll find nothing in other girls, so I'll never have love. I can't make love out of nothing at all.
     

    macgirl

    New Member
    USA
    I agree with James... he loves her very much but for fear or whatever is unable to express it... and he is mystified that with him giving her what he believes is nothing that she could still love him as she does. in that way she is making love out of nothing at all...
     

    almostfreebird

    Senior Member
    Born and raised in Japón, soy japonés
    Hey guys, if I may venture an opinion there is a better site for understanding and analyzing song lyrics(especially meaningful and controversial songs).

    You could get much better information short and sweet and in detail than here.
    this is the link:Mod Note: Promotional link deleted per WR Forum Rules.
    Please contact the author of this post by PM for the URL for that fabulous site.
     

    Suki the Pure

    New Member
    English
    From what the opening verse says--

    "I know just how to whisper
    And I know just how to cry
    I know just where I find the answers
    And I know just how to lie" etc...

    It sounds to me like the narrator is a professional player. A guy who can work the women without getting attached. Give them what they want without really getting emotional himself. But when it comes to the woman the song is about, he doesn't "know how to leave [her]" etc. Seems to me that he's actually fallen for the one the song is to.

    Soooo, "making love out of nothing at all" would be her making him feel love, which was never there before.

    As for the crawling line, well... this is a guy who knows how to work women, so never worried about being rejected. But now his heart is REALLY in it, and he could get hurt. He's scared. What if she rejects him?
     

    wordluver

    Member
    English U.S.A.
    It sounds to me like the narrator is a professional player. A guy who can work the women without getting attached. Give them what they want without really getting emotional himself. But when it comes to the woman the song is about, he doesn't "know how to leave [her]" etc. Seems to me that he's actually fallen for the one the song is to.

    Soooo, "making love out of nothing at all" would be her making him feel love, which was never there before.

    As for the crawling line, well... this is a guy who knows how to work women, so never worried about being rejected. But now his heart is REALLY in it, and he could get hurt. He's scared. What if she rejects him?
    This is an interesting thread. Also, I agree with Suki's analysis of the lyrics.

    <<Text deleted to comply with WR rules on quoted text>>

    And the part about this man's mate or love interest making him feel love, which was never there before, seems to be indicated in these lyrics:

    And I don’t know how you do it
    Making love out of nothing at all

    and

    You can take the darkness from the deep of the night
    And turn it to a beacon burning endlessly bright

    Also, as far as making love without having sex as someone had mentioned, I view the term "making love" in this song as meaning creating or causing love rather than having sex.
     

    daoxunchang

    Senior Member
    Chinese China
    I'm sorry to bring this old thread back. I found it when I was searching on the Internet for the meaning of the song's title--as superann was, for I met translations of it with completely opposite meanings and I cannot find an convining lyrics edition.

    Since I've been long away from WR, I read the new forum rules before I bring my question up in this old thread and I suppose it's ok for me to do it. If not, please send me a PM and tell me to remove it. Thank you, kind moderators.

    What I'm going to do in this thread is two things. First, I'll venture my version of the meaning of the title and second, I'll ask your kind assistance in making out an accurate edition of the lyrics.

    1. It seems to me all the responses here believe the love which is made "out of nothing at all" is what the girl--just let me be sexist for convenience's sake-- displays. Can I venture to suggest considering this love is caused by the girl on the singer's side? I agree at the point that the girl not "much into" the man, as Metztli says. Can we interpret the title "making love out of nothing at all" as that the girl makes the man crazy about her without doing anything, or "in the absence of any behavioural foundation"?:)

    << The second part of this post is off topic for this thread.
    Keeping to the thread topic has become more important in the years since this thread began.
    panjandrum, moderator >>

    I'm sorry to bother you with this post. Many thanks in advance for all attention.

    Daoxunchang
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Response to POST #20:

    I'm going to respond to just one question raised by the above post:

    [....] Firstly, a question that might has some importance--is it really "And I'm never gonna tell you everything"? Why do I always hear "And I know I'm gonna ..."? They mean totally differently, don't they? [....]
    This line is in the first half of the song, where the singer tells about all the things he can't do. And the line is immediately followed by the singer's saying that he has to try anyway. This only makes sense if the line we are discussing is negative. If he were saying "I know I am gonna tell you everything" why would he say in the next line that he will try to tell her everything?

    On the basis of context, I think the line is correct.

    (I am using the lyrics HERE, It is a different source, but has the same words as the one Panj linked to above. I find this one easier to read.)
     

    daoxunchang

    Senior Member
    Chinese China
    And Im never gonna tell you everything
    Ive got to tell you,
    But I know Ive got to give it a try.


    What makes what I hear seem impossible is actually the "but" in the third line. But I listened and listened and it was still "I know I'm gonna". Would you please listen again and tell me your opinion? Thank you.
     
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